Tuesday, July 24, 2007

John Johns Mural

Back in December, I posted a remembrance of my favorite super human caricaturist, John Johns: http://cartoonsteve.blogspot.com/2006/12/remembering-jj-one-year-ago-today-my.html

His bio copy, from a 1978 Fantrasy Convention program, revealed that he had painted a mural in the "2nd Federal Bank" building in Monroeville, PA. I did some checking and learned that the building (now National City Bank) and mural still exist - in an employee conference room.

Not having a chance to easily view it in person, I sought out the help of Louis Chandler, archivist from the Monroeville Historical Society. www.monroevillehistorical.org
Louis wrote the bank and was given clearance to take some detailed photos of the mural which he described at about 5'x15'.

Thanks for your help, Louis!
Now here a few more of those great TV Graphic covers:

I remember Mr. Johns displaying some of these at his caricature workshops back at AIP: Said that his rendering method was dictated by the number of days notice he would get from the editor. Some of the most detailed paintings were known as "five day" jobs, while others would be done in a just a few days or less. Notice the brilliant way he effectively uses color (or lack of it) to help capture the mood and personality of Hitchcock.

I see theres a John A. Johns Retrospective exhibit at the Art Institute gallery through August 15. More info to come.